Former Communities in Chambers County
Many settlements existed in the County in days gone by. Lack of transportation created clusters of neighbors who were banded together by geography, and postal service and usually a general store of some sort would then be established. While all of these settlements seemed to flourish, many fell by the wayside as better roads and increasing prosperity allowed folks to patronize larger towns in the area. Here is a list of those small villages which once graced the County, courtesy of "Chambers County, A Pictorial History," by Margaret Henson and Kevin Ladd. Additional information on post office histories gleaned from the Chambers County Library System Local History Archives.
Communities and Settlements
Acom-Established around 1912 as Acom Common School District No. 22, this school appears to have drawn its name from the Acom family of Findley, Illinois, who owned land near Winnie-Stowell. This area was more commonJy known as Thornton. A number of area residents served as school trustees, including Mr. and Mrs. M. C. Flickinger. Lorraine (Barrow) Silva, who taught school there in the early 1920s, remembers it as being a large, high-ceilinged building of only one room. The school was located near the Robert A Thornton family home. The school ceased to function in the late 1920s and was dissolved on August 1, 1931. Half of the school lands, which altogether totalled 30 sections, was added to East Chambers and half to the Anahuac school districts. The Willow Slough oil field, one of the largest on the Texas Gulf Coast at one time, was established in November 1937 with the Sun Oil Company's Acom No. 3 on H. T. & B.
Railroad Tract No. 103.
Bancroft-Located in the northwest corner of T. & N. 0. Railroad Company Section No. 32 and southwest of Winnie, the town of Bancroft developed rapidly after the Plummer family settled there in 1895. A post office was established there in 1899 with Richard M. Richmond as the postmaster, at which time the estimated population to be served by the office was placed at 100. The post office was discontinued in 1907, with the mail being routed to Stowell. The town was named for Postmaster Richmond's maternal grandfather. A common school district was established there, with Frank W. Plummer and Will M Bond among those who served as trustees. Other families to live in the Bancroft community were the McBrides, the Hamiltons, the Bonds, and the Fontenots. The population was 112 in 1921.
Black Branch - A name sometimes used in reference to the Black community near Wallisville and attributed to a gully of that same name in the vicinity. A Black Branch school appears on county school records as early as 1897, with Alfred Jones serving as teacher that year and E. W. Williams the next.
Cedar Bayou-Settlers came to the area of present day Baytown in Harris County in the early 1830s and communities developed along both sides of the bayou. Although living in different counties, the settlers along this stream have married back and forth considerably and make it very difficult to avoid portraying it as a single community. A number of brick yards flourished on both sides of the bayou during the 1800s and early 1900s. William Scott operated a cotton gin there in the 1830s. Cedar Bayou, both the Harris and Chambers county sides, now lies within the Goose Creek Independent School District. Post office established March 8, 1847 in Liberty County, W.K. Mills, first postmaster. Transferred to Chambers County after August 25, 186-. The community was named for the large number of cedar trees along its banks.
Cedar Point - Although not technically a community, Cedar Point is an extremely significant site in Chambers County because it served as the summer home of Gen. Sam Houston, who purchased the site in 1837 from John Iiam's widow Tabitha. Located on Tri City Beach Road seven miles east of Baytown, the site is now the property of Mr. and Mrs. Richard V. Adkins. A 1936 Centennial marker was erected near the site but is inaccessible to the public. The Chambers County Historical Commission dedicated a new marker there in April 1986.
Dellyville - Located north of the old town of Wallisville, Dellyville was established as a suburb of the older town around 1900 by Professor 0 . H. de Lamorton. The professor, a land developer and newspaper editor, constructed a train depot in the subdivision in the hope that a train would come later. The development was platted and included such lyrical names as Lake Pass Avenue and De Lamorton Avenue.
Eagle - A post office was established at Eagle in 1912 with Gottfried Wolff as the first postmaster. Others who served as postmasters there included Harvey B. Haynes, Marie A Haynes, and Fannie B. Kruger. Located on the west fork of Double Bayou, the community boasted one store and a ferry over the bayou. The post office closed in 1943, with mail being transferred to Anahuac. The ferry was closed in the early 1950s. The community was first called Glen, then Eagle Nest, finally Eagle. For years an eagle built her nest in a dead pine tree on the west prong of Double Bayou. Boatmen christened this place "Eagle's Nest" and when application was made for a post office, the name Eagle was approved. 1940 population was 50.
Eminence - Known variously as "Pole Cat Ridge" and "Pine Ridge," the community known as Eminence existed around what is now the intersection of Farm Road 56.3 and Interstate 10. The name of the community is generally attributed to Mrs. Betty (Keys) Chambers, the third wife of Judge William Morton Chambers. The community school appears in records dating back to the 1890s as Pine Ridge, but is referred to as Eminence by 1901. A Pine Ridge post office was established in August 1800 with Daniel Clark as postmaster and then discontinued in December of the same year. The Eminence post office, with Mrs. Mary Jane Silva as postmistress, was established in 1898 and discontinued in 1909, with the mail being moved to Anahuac. The Eminence and Wallisville schools were later consolidated. When citizens met to select a name for the post office, they thought that of Pole Cat Ridge was beneath their dignity, so selected the most eminent name they could find.
Fig Ridge - Located in the easter portion of Chambers County. It was named due to the large amounts of fig groves that were cultivated in this area around the time of the first World War.
Fort Chambers - Located about half way between old Fort Anahuac and the town of Anahac, it was built by Confederate troops to protect the Gulf Coast area during the Civil War and was named for Thomas Jefferson Chambers.
Glen - Originally planned to be named Bermuda, the Glen post office was established in 1905 with Sue Watson as the first postmistress. Located near Eagle and approximately five miles from both Double Bayou and Graydon, the Glen post office was finally discontinued in 1918. Other postmasters there included A. L. Beason and Jesse W. Frost.
Graydon - Located five miles south of Anahuac on Farm Road 563, the once thriving community of Graydon was the birthplace of former Texas Governor Ross Shaw Sterling. The community was named for Graydon Elton Barrow, and early families there included those of Benjamin Franklin Sterling, Marion Stines, Jacob Carl Johnson, Job Talbert Beason, Samuel S. S. Scherer, and John Smith. B. F. Sterling was appointed as the first postmaster after the Graydon post office was established in 1895. Others who served as postmaster at Graydon included: William H. Bell, William E. Bell, Claude
Jackson, Ross S. Sterling, Samuel S. S. Scherer, Marion Stines, and Archibald Stines. The post office was discontinued in 1919 and mail service transferred to Anahuac. The area also boasted two stores, one belonging to Sterling and the other to Marion Stines. Forrest and Willie Watson operated a shipyard. Captain B. F. Sterling established the first school there. First called North Double Bayou, the school became known as Graydon in 1901. Graydon was consolidated with Anahuac in 1935. A historical marker was erected at the site of Graydon in 1977, based upon research by Sally Hill. In 1946 the community had a church and a general merchandise store.
Harmon - Located in the Andrew Weaver Survey and near Hankamer Loop Road, the community known as Harmon
developed around the Harmon Saddle Shop founded in 1896 by Charles S. Harmon. The community is located approximately five miles north of Hankamer. Harmon Common School District No. 18 was consolidated with Hankamer in 1936.
Lake Charlotte - A rather strong community in the vicinity of Lake Charlotte was in evidence as early as the 1830s. Dr. Nicholas D. Labadie operated a plantation there at that time, along with a general store and a medical practice, but later moved to Galveston. A school in that area was in operation as early as 1833, when Benjamin Harper appears in Labadie's day book as schoolmaster. The school does not appear in school records from Chambers County after 1903, although it may have been assimilated into the Eminence school. Lake Charlotte was a popular recreation area during
the late 1800s and early 1900s. The population of the Lake Charlotte area was around thirty to forty families in 1915.
A post office was established there in 1891, although its location tended to move back and forth across the county
line several times. Postmasters who served there while the facility was in Chambers County included: Volney R
McManus, Nina Sherman, Hiram Munger, Paul W. Sherman,James B. Jones, and Robert P. Munger. The post office was transferred to Liberty County, November 14, 1901; to Chambers County, September 29, 1903; to Liberty County, September 23, 1907. It was discontinued December 14, 1907.
Lone Oak - A community that developed around Lone Oak Bayou, between Smith Point and Double Bayou.
Monroe City - This town developed immediately after the discovery in 1935 of the A. D. Middleton No. 1 by the Humble Oil & Refining Company. Humble bought up most of the leases south of Highway 65, while wildcatter Glenn H. McCarthy of Houston bought up the leases north of that road. Most of the McCarthy leases came from the Monroe White family. The town that developed there was originally named White City after Monroe White, but was later changed to Monroe City since Texas already had one White City. The McCarthy leases were later sold to Sun Oil Company. An impressive Humble Camp was built there soon after the discovery of oil and included tennis courts, a company hall, and other recreational facilities. Humble later built a smaller version and called it "The Little Camp." Sun Oil established its own camp on the north side of the highway. The camps were closed in the early 1960s and many of the houses were moved away. Monroe City received a post office in 1936. By June 1939, it boasted three general merchandise stores, one
Piggly Wiggly, one package store, one cafe and amusement hall, a small waterworks, a barber shop, lumber yard, a
filling station, the Brown & Root Camp with a company store and filling station, a branch supply house for the Halliburton Oil Well Cementing Company, and the Humble Camp. The post office had 350 patrons. The post office, which was officially closed in 1987 has had three postmistresses: Mrs. Thelma L Thames, Mrs. Lavergne Files, and Mrs. Lula M. Matthews.
Morgan's Settlement - Early issues of The Progress often provided personal news items from this community that developed along the upper reaches of Cedar Bayou. Named for Dr. Asa Morgan and his family, Morgan's Settlement included members of the Williams, Armstrong, Busch, and Donnelly families, to name a few. A family cemetery for the Morgan family is located in the William Bloodgood Survey on a nineteen·acre tract that once belonged to Dr. Morgan.Both Asa Morgan and his son Charles E. Morgan served as county commissioner, while Charles also served as justice of the peace on several occasions. The Morgan School, constructed on two acres of land given to the district by Dr. Morgan, was built on Cedar Bayou in the years after the Civil War. This school became Common School District No. 9 and was one of eleven operating in the county in 1898.John H. Kipp, Sr., D. Parker, and James Busch were trustees at that time. The Morgan and Schilling schools were consolidated in 1908 and taken over by the Cedar Bayou Independent
School District in 1918.
New Boston - Thomas Chubb, the seafaring father-in-law of Gen. Thomas Jefferson Chambers, appears in some October 1848 Galveston newspaper advertisement trying to push his stage route from New Boston to Sour Lake, in present day Hardin County. New Boston is described as being "handsomely situated at the mouth of Turtle Bayou.'' The town also appears as a point on a new post route at that same time.
Oak Island - A more recent community, Oak Island has developed in the area between the east and west forks of Double Bayou. Although many weekend visitors maintain homes there, it also has many permanent residents.
Round Point - Another significant area of the county, Round Point is located 2.8 miles south of Highway 61 on South Main. Presently owned by Mrs. Jewell (Wilcox) Key, the home was originally built by Philip A Huffman and is located on the original Anson Taylor league. It was, for many years, well known as the home of Desire Dunken "Dick" Wilcox and his wife, Callie Belle Jenny. General Chambers also lived on the same site during his early years in Anahuac. It was over possession of this land that Chambers allegedly shot and killed John O'Brian. A historical marker for Round Point was dedicated in May 1984. Douglas Euell, Donald Ruell, and Desire Dunken Wilcox.Jr., brothers of Jewell Key, grew up there as well.
Seabreeze - Located near Stowell on the old Gulf & lnterstate Railway, Seabreeze was a stop on the line for many years. A number of oil wells are located in a field by this name.
Straddle - A post office was established at Dr. Henry Bankhead Griffith's store on Old River in 1880. Old settlers tell that a number of men were gathered in Griffith's store, with various ones suggesting different names. One man grew tired of the protracted discussion and informed the others that he was going to straddle a nearby apple box while the others debated the point. The name Straddle caught on. Griffith was the only postmaster at Straddle.
Thornton - A small community located near the Winnie-Stowell area and around the home of the late Robert A Thomton, a businessman there and a leader in the Farmers & Merchants State Bank. (See Acom)
Turtle Bayou - Although best known for the Turtle Bayou Resolutions that were drafted at the home of James Taylor White in 1832, a community bearing this name developed along Turtle Bayou during the 1800s. Two main stores appear to have been the most dependable businesses of the area. One store, located in what is today White's Park, belonged to George E. Willcox before he sold it to Monroe White and W. B. Gordon in 1883. White maintained the store for many years before selling it to Dr. George L. Morgan in the 1920s. Another store, owned by Robert D. White, was located further north on the bayou and served also as the post office from 1879 until 1914. A ferry was operated at the Willcox/White store for many years. A number of sawmills were operated in the area, most notably those of George W. Chapman, Will Beckwith, and the Hayford family. The Hayford Ship Yard, located at the mouth of Turtle Bayou, was a busy and active industry for many years. The ferry was later relocated to cross the Wallisville-Liberty road and remained there until 1937, when a bridge was constructed over the bayou. Recent underwater archeology by Dr. William Louis
Fullen of Deer Park has uncovered several important shipwrecks within the waters of Turtle Bayou and White's Bayou. These discoveries suggest that Turtle Bayou may be an extremely important archaeological site.